Timber and Wood Process Workers perform routine tasks in paper and pulp mills, sawmills, timber yards, and wood processing and timber products factories.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

Tasks

  • rolling logs from trucks and conveyors to log decks, saw carriages and stacking bays
  • placing logs and wood billets onto conveyors and lathes for processing into chips, veneers and pulp
  • sorting and stacking timber during milling
  • placing timber for processing by machines and unloading cut timber from tail end of machines
  • assisting with setting up and operating plant and ancillary equipment used in the manufacture of sheets and boards
  • transporting processed wood products, such as plywood, chipboard sheets and panels, to work areas
  • clearing blockages in machines
  • assisting with measuring and cutting materials
  • packing and loading finished products for transportation
  • cleaning work areas, tools and equipment

Job Titles

  • Paper and Pulp Mill Worker
  • Sawmill or Timber Yard Worker
  • Wood and Wood Products Factory Worker
  • Paper and Pulp Mill Worker (also called Pulp, Paper Making and Paper Products Labourer)

    Performs routine tasks in a paper and pulp mill such as placing logs onto conveyors for chipping, and loading woodchip and pulp for processing.

  • Sawmill or Timber Yard Worker (also called Timber Mill Worker or Wood Processing Worker)

    Performs routine tasks in a sawmill or timber yard such as sorting and stacking timber, assisting timber machinists, assembling orders and racking offcuts.

    Specialisations: Tailer-out

  • Wood and Wood Products Factory Worker (also called Wood and Wood Products Labourer)

    Performs routine tasks in a wood processing and timber product factory such as placing logs on equipment and conveyors, assisting with measuring and cutting of materials, and setting up and operating plant equipment.

    Specialisations: Hardboard Factory Worker, Joinery Factory Worker, Particleboard Factory Worker, Plywood Factory Worker

Fast Facts

  • $900 Weekly Pay
  • 3,800 workers Employment Size
  • Decline Future Growth
  • Entry level Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 88.6% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 37.5 hours Average full-time
  • 40 years Average age
  • 8.3% female Gender Share

The number of Timber and Wood Process Workers fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
from 3,800 in 2018 to 3,300 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Timber and Wood Process Workers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria or Queensland.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Wholesale Trade; and Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn around $900 per week (lower than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (88.6%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 37.5 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (29.3%).
  • Gender: 8.3% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20089600
20096500
20108800
20117100
20127600
20134700
20146700
20156900
20163700
20177400
20183800
20233300

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings9001230

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing72.1
Wholesale Trade13.5
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services4.0
Retail Trade2.4
Other Industries8.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW13.131.6
VIC42.526.2
QLD26.319.7
SA9.56.7
WA5.010.8
TAS3.72.0
NT0.01.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketTimber and Wood Process WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-1911.8-5.25.2
20-2417.5-9.99.9
25-348.3-23.623.6
35-4417.8-21.721.7
45-5422.4-20.820.8
55-5917.9-8.88.8
60-644.4-6.06.0
65 and Over0.0-4.04.0

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Year 10 Certificate, Certificate I, or a short period of on-the-job training is sometimes needed, but is not necessary to work in this job.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Forest and Wood Products Industry VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Timber and Wood Process Workers who work well in a team, with a strong work ethic and are polite and courteous.

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Production and Processing

    65% Important

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  2. Mechanical

    64% Important

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  3. Public Safety and Security

    53% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  4. Mathematics

    52% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  5. Education and Training

    46% Important

    Teaching and course design.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-7041.00 - Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  1. Controlling Machines and Processes

    82% Important

    Operate machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).

  2. Handling and Moving Objects

    82% Important

    Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

  3. Performing General Physical Activities

    74% Important

    Doing things that use of your arms and legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

  4. Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material

    73% Important

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.

  5. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    69% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-7041.00 - Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood.

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